- n4 BYZANTINE CHURCHES CHAP.
hold their meetings. The north aisle also has been much altered and is covered with Turkish domes.
The first impression produced by the interior of the building is that we have here a church on the trefoil plan, similar to S. Mary of the Mongols (p. 272) or S. Elias of Salonica, for the central area is flanked by two semi-domes, which with the eastern apse form a lobed plan at the vaulting level. A closer examination of the building, however, will prove that we are dealing with a structure whose original features have been concealed by extensive Turkish alterations, and that the trefoil form is a superficial disguise.
The arches supporting the central dome on the north and south sides are filled in with semi-domes which rest on arches thrown diagonally across the c aisles * on each side of the central dome. These arches are very clumsily set to the sides of an irregular hexagon, with the central wall arch much larger than the side arches. They have no responds, and have every appearance of being makeshifts.
The eastern dome arch is prolonged into a barrel-vaulted bema, flanked by shallow niches leading to the prothesis and diaconicon, and beyond the bema is the semicircular apse. Only the diaconicon now remains, covered by a cross-groined vault, and its apse pierced by a door leading to the hall of the Tek6. The place of the prothesis has been taken by a similar door and a small Turkish dome.
The western dome arch is filled in with a triple arcade resting on two marble columns with finely carved cubical capitals. Above the arcade is a group of three windows whose heads are circular on the inside, but pointed on the outside. To the west of this arcade is an oblong passage corresponding to the c inner narthex' of S. Theodosia. It is in three bays. The central long bay is barrel-vaulted ; the two outer bays open into the north and south c aisles' ; the bay to the north is covered by a Turkish dome, while that to the south has a cross-groined vault which seems to be original.
Beyond this to the west is the outer narthex, a fine piece of work, and, from the character of its details, of the same period as the western dome arcade. It is in five bays.